Maximizing Savings at the Grocery Store: Review your trips to the store!


Estimated Monthly Savings: $50

Whether you love going grocery shopping or it is something you dread, doing an end-of-trip review after going shopping can help you to save money. Before you leave your house, grab a notebook and pen. If you prefer, you can also take notes on your cell phone.

As you go through the store, write down the brands and cost of the items you are buying. To make it easier to compare the cost with the same item in another store, record the cost in ounces, pounds, or another way, which will allow you to compare costs even if the other store does not carry the item in the same size. If the store does not provide this information, use your cell phone calculator, or bring along a pocket calculator to figure out the cost.

While this will take extra time on a shopping trip, if you are visiting more than one store, be sure to include the cost of the items at all the stores you visit. If you are visiting one store one day and another store another day, you can still bring along your notebook and comparison shop. While this is not something you need to do during every shopping trip, if you notice the cost of items you regularly buy have changed, it is a good idea to bring out that notebook and comparison shop again.

Another part of an end-of-trip review is looking at your receipt and deciding what items you bought that were not necessary. Maybe you did not need that big bag of candy, or perhaps the second gallon of ice cream was not really needed.

If you find unnecessary items are taking up a large chunk of your shopping budget, do some readjusting. While this does not mean you need to eliminate the extra candy, ice cream, and other goodies, you may want to establish a realistic budget for these items. Set aside a specific amount per week or month that you will allow yourself to spend on items that are not necessary. When you have reached your weekly or monthly limit, do not buy unnecessary items again until the next week or month. You may need to do an end-of-trip review regularly to see if you need to adjust your unnecessary items budget.

To continue to save money while grocery shopping, be sure to make it a habit to regularly check to make sure you are paying the best price for your favorite items and to continually review how much money you are spending on items you do not need.